Bulldogs are very special and very different from other dog breeds.  Among the qualities that make them stand out:  their legendary patience with children and their quiet and calm behavior.  The main drawbacks are that they are relatively short-lived as compared to other dog breeds, but this is of course very dependent on their living conditions, genetics, health and diet.

(see: Recommended food for your bulldog).
They are  also extremely intolerant to heat and excessive exercise and may present whelping problems. 

The difficulty to breed bulldogs explains why they are relatively expensive. In addition, their food and vet expenses will often be higher than with other dog breeds of the same category.  Another point of which the  buyer should be aware is that Bulldogs are chronic chewers, not only as puppies, but throughout their lifetime.  It is important to provide plenty of safe chew toys.

While the Bulldog was originally bred as a bull-baiting dog, they no longer have any inclination towards that type of activity.  Their favorite position is flat on the floor staring contentedly at their owner. 


The Bulldog's quiet temper, the fact that they only bark when there is a good reason and  the fact that they need little exercise, make them suitable as a pet in a city flat. Read more about the Bulldog's temperament and character.

Most pet owners are so intrigued with the antics of their Buldog puppy that they do little disciplining or training.  As the puppy grows in size and matures, he should be given at least a minimum amount of trainingIt is surely not a dog that will jump at your every command and although complete obedience training is not necessary, it can easily be accomplished with a little patience.  Bulldogs should be treated kindly, but firmly.

Even though their true character is very sweet and tolerant, their appearance is often a deterrent to any would-be intruder.   If Bulldogs do not obtain a high score as watchdog or security dog on comparative scales with other breeds this is because these scales do not take into account the deterrent effect of their physical appearance.  The Bulldog's sometimes terrifying and ferocious appearance belies its truly gentle character and often scares people away.  Bulldogs are certainely not a vicious breed, but they do show a great courage in protecting their owners and family.  Their physical presence is sufficient to persuade many strangers to avoid the area altogether. Read more about the english bulldog

Some bulldogs may have genetic defects (especially those who are the result of poor breeding practices) and may be subject to illnesses that affect many breeds. Common health problems you may encounter include: elongated soft palate, small trachea, allergies, dermatitis, demodetic mange, eye lid anomalies, hip dysplasia and heart problems. Some of them have a tendency toward self-mutilation (especially if they have itchy skin), so owners should watch carefully for signs of skin irritation and scratching. If you are adopting an older dog, many of these conditions will already have been identified.

This being said, don't be too scared by talk of congenital defects and health problems generally associated with  the bulldog breed.  As one author says: "ALL breeds are subject to genetical defects in health and temperament. Working with a good breeder minimizes (but does not always eliminate) the risk that one will end up with a defective dog." (1 )

Although some breeds have been severely damaged by poor breeding, the best response to a long list of possible defects and problems is to be alert for them at the outset. Also, keep in mind that the length of a list may reflect the state of knowledge about a breed more than the likelihood of running into problems, meaning that they have been studied more intensively. Uncommon or rare breeds are generally less studied than more common breeds like the bulldog, resulting in shorter lists. A defect in a rare breed may also propagate more quickly and be harder to eliminate from the smaller population.

An additional problem is that despite its popularity among the public, the specificity of the bulldog is poorly known by most veterinarians.  What may be the right treatment or action with all other breeds may be disastrous to a bulldog.  Since not all veterinarians are knowledgeable of this, please consult experienced Bulldog owners or rescue organisations to find a 'bulldog-qualified' veterinarian. Any veterinarian who will be doing surgery on your Bulldog should have previous experience with putting Bulldogs under anesthesia. If you don't have such a veterinarian in a reasonable range of your home, or if you don't know any other bulldog owners and if the breeder you intend to buy your bulldog puppy from, doesn't seem the type to provide follow-up service, it may be not a wise decision to choose a bulldog.  This is even more true if this is to be your first dog. 

Canine parasitic skin diseases
 Bulldog Health Information
Hereditary Diseases
Transferable Diseases
Heat stroke in Bulldogs
Anal Gland Impaction
Inverted hind feet
Swimming Puppy Syndrome
Characteristics of the Bulldog

Better Food for Dogs
Bulldog Information
Bulldog Books
Recommended Food for Bulldogs
Dog Breed Directory
New Bulldog Books
Puppy Information
Choosing a breeder
Selecting a puppy
Equipment to buy for your new Bulldog puppy
Puppy Housebreaking Books
Bulldog puppy photos
Puppy training books for Kids
The Bulldog by Diane Morgan
See also: Cute puppies, a collection of
cute and funny puppy photos
More puppy info...
Recommended Reading
Bulldog Stuff
Christmas Bulldog Stuff
Bulldog Costumes
Bulldog Home Decor Products
Bulldog Books
Plush & Stuffed Bulldogs
Bulldog Calendars 2009
Music for Dogs (Music Bulldogs like)
Bulldog Health
Everyday Care of Your Bulldog
Bulldog Costumes
Traveling Tips for Bulldog Owners
Puppy Tips
Tips for Bulldog Breeders
Fun Bulldog Stuff
Recommended Books for Dog Owners
The Bulldog
(Terra Nova Series)
by Diane Morgan
More information:
More Bulldog books
Drs. Foster and Smith Inc.
Related Pages
Home > Articles > Characteristics of the Bulldog
Bulldogs for Dummies
Bulldogs for Dummies
by Susan M. Ewing
Better Food for Dogs
David Bastin
Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook
by James M. Giffin, Liisa D. Carlson
More information:
The Veterinarians' Guide to Your Dog's Symptoms
by Michael S. DVM GARVEY
UC Davis Book of Dogs :
The Complete Medical Reference Guide for Dogs and Puppies
by Mordecai Siegal
More information:

by Catherine Marien

Bulldog Information 2003-2010 © All rights reserved. 

Hannadic Joshua
See also:
Everyday care of the bulldog
Care of the senior bulldog
Canine parasitic skin diseases
Bulldog Health Information

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References and Further Reading
Pet Owner's Guide to the Bulldog, Judith Daws
The Book of the Bulldog, Joan Brearley
Bulldogs, Christian Bruton
(1) Dogs and Personal Security
Best dogs for families with children
Popular dog breeds